COVID-19 has become a global pandemic of the highest priority. Multiple treatment protocols have been proposed worldwide with no definitive answer for acure. A prior retrospective study showed association between bitter taste receptor 38 (T2R38) phenotypes and the severity of COVID-19. Based on this, we proposed assessing the different T2R38 phenotypes response towards a targeted treatment protocol. Starting July 2020 till December 2020, we tested subjects for T2R38 phenotypic expression (supertasters, tasters, and nontasters). Subjects who were subsequently infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (diagnosed via PCR) were included. Based on their taster status, supertasters were given dexamethasone for 4 days; tasters were given azithromycin and dexamethasone +/− hydroxychloroquine for 7 days; and nontasters were given azithromycin and dexamethasone for 12 days. Subjects were followed prospectively and their outcomes were documented. Seven hundred forty-seven COVID-19 patients were included, with 184 (24.7%) supertasters, 371 (49.6%) tasters, and192 (25.7%) nontasters. The average duration of symptoms with the treatment protocol was 5 days for supertasters, 8.1 days for tasters, and 16.2 days for nontasters. Only three subjects (0.4%) required hospitalization (3/3 nontasters). Targeted treatment protocol showed significant correlation (p
< 0.05) based on patients’ T2R38 phenotypic expression. Assessing treatment protocols for COVID-19 patients according to their T2R38 phenotype could provide insight into the inconsistent results obtained from the different studies worldwide. Further study is warranted on the categorization of patients based on their T2R38 phenotype.
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